OlliOlli World: Void Riders DLC Review: Unidentified Flying Ollie
OlliOlli World was already plenty replayable with a massive multitude of challenges, gear, leaderboards, and a nearly limitless bucket of procedurally generated levels that sat on top of the foundation of its smooth, combo-driven skating gameplay. It felt as endless as space itself, which is what its first expansion is based around. Void Riders doesn’t add anything fundamentally alien to OlliOlli World, but it does have a handful of rad levels worthy of grinding and kickflipping through over and over.
Some of these stages are remixes of prior worlds. Instead of just being new levels, there are twisted versions of three of the core worlds in the base game, each with three traditional stages and a mini-game one. For example, the forest world is now covered in snow and is full of arctic creatures, the sunny beach area is now a gloomy foggy bog, and the hot, sunbaked desert is, well, a cool, nighttime desert full of cows and crashed UFOs. These inversions cleverly and efficiently expand on what was already there, providing three new themes with fewer resources. They’re still brimming with personality and have detailed backgrounds full of weird anthropomorphic wildlife in addition to the new aliens, so they haven’t lost any of the charm in these transitions, either.
Void Riders’ new worlds and its completely original biome also have their shares of tricky sections that require quick reflexes and great timing, but they don’t dramatically up the difficulty found in the core game’s final world. While having multiple grueling gauntlets might have differentiated this DLC more, its level of challenge is still excellently honed because it is as hard as players want to make it. It still intuitively supports those who wish to chase scores and go for Nebulord’s brutal challenges, as well as those that want to just ollie from checkpoint to checkpoint until they reach the finish line.
This DLC is generally more concerned with providing trippy visuals and further pushing the alien-centric theme, something that the final original biome fully expands upon. Grind rails slide and wiggle straight out of the ground, flying tentacle aliens hold rideable walls with other aliens on them, and levels bend in unrealistic, M.C. Escher-esque ways in the background, most of which are decorated with their own assortment of alien skaters. It’s all a great change of pace from the main game and carves out its own space, which culminates in a unique, one-shot final level that’s unlike anything else in the rest of the series.
Roll7’s artists have consistently made stages like this that are beautiful to look at, but level designers have provided equally impressive work here, too. The actual stages take from OlliOlli World’s established toolkit but compile those pieces in interesting ways that still provide new thrills and tests of skill. The tractor beams are the one new mechanic and can lift players up if they grab their board. There are some clever uses of it that open up paths or force players to selectively grab so they don’t crash into the UFO itself, but it’s mainly a simple method to catch air through more thematically appropriate means. It’s a little odd to have two grab-based mechanics — grab crystals and tractor beams — and it might have been more fitting to utilize the spin mechanic instead, but it still adds enough variety within the context of the game’s other systems.
OlliOlli World’s Void Riders DLC isn’t a dramatic reinvention of the core game, nor does it have all of its best parts. However, that speaks more to the overall quality of that base experience and its immensely satisfying mechanics; there wasn’t all too much room to improve on. Void Riders takes skaters to a galaxy far, far away and provides more of the same excellent game, complete with a collection of eye-catching environments, challenges to unlock, and colorful gear to earn. Void Riders is still more than worth returning to Radlandia for, even if it isn’t truly out of this world.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equates to “Great.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds at its goal and leaves a memorable impact.